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Your daily source of fresh takes on news affecting America's passengers. See also the weekly NARP Hotline.

Riding the Iron Longhorn: An Overview of the Texas Central Railway Project

By G.E. Vann When one visualizes Texas, several images come to mind: things like cowboys, cattle, barbeque, oil fields, big cities, small towns, open plains and Friday Night lights. A high-speed train blasting through the open Texas countryside may not be part of your vision -- but that might change soon. Two years ago, a private company, Texas Central Railway, announced that it was planning on building a high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston by 2021. The company would run trains on the l

A New Station for Atlanta

by G.E. Vann Following the demolition of Pennsylvania Station in New York City, Vincent Scully commented that passengers used to enter New York like gods, but now they scurry in like rats. New Yorkers might consider themselves luckier than citizens of Atlanta: at least they can scurry into their city. The residents of Atlanta do not have that option. When their two stations, Atlanta Union Station and Atlanta Terminal Station, were demolished in the 1970s, nothing was put in their place. Now w

Elections create new landscape for passenger trains

The election results are in, and it’s official: the Senate now belongs to the Republicans, granting the GOP full control of Congress. So what does this mean for trains? Make no mistake: there are still individual Republican voices calling for deep cuts to Amtrak. Some of these voices, such as House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), are as powerful as they are dangerous. And while there are many individual Republican members of Congress who support a strong Amtrak, the party’s focus on achi

The New Tunnel to Gotham: A Closer Examination of the Ticking Time Bomb Beneath the Hudson River

by G.E. Vann For the past hundred years, the two North River and four East River tunnels have been a vital piece in our nation’s rail infrastructure. Completed in 1910, the tunnels, which are roughly 12,000 to 13,500 feet long, transport tens of thousands of people per day to and from North Bergen, New Jersey to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan and onwards to Queens. Commuters from throughout New Jersey and Long Island use them, as well as Amtrak passengers from New York traveling througho

Your Stories: Passengers Speak Out Against Delays Afflicting the National Network

By now, nearly everyone has heard about the delays plaguing Amtrak’s trains as they move people across the U.S. Things have gotten so bad that the on-time performance of Amtrak’s long distance services is down 21% when compared to the same period last year. Some trains are even worse, with the Capitol Limited (Washington-Chicago) arriving on time only 3.2% of the time in August! But sometimes it’s hard to put a human cost to those numbers. That’s why NARP has launched a campaign to te

The Trans-Siberian Railway and BAM: Not as Alien as One Might Think

Written By Karl Haljasmets In a truly all-encompassing dialogue on train travel, one way or another the conversation is sure to pass by the Trans-Siberian Railway. This is because it is, with its 5,772-mile span, the longest railroad in the world, spanning over seven time zones. It is also considered one of the most beautiful train routes in the world, going places where most people have never set foot. It is, in essence, a legend, shaking stories out of every joint in the track—like the ti

Washington Post Says Amtrak Should Solve On Time Performance Issues by Cutting Service; NARP Responds

Written By Abe Zumwalt. A map made by Christopher Ingraham to illustrate Amtrak's poor on time performance With 2013 came the highest intercity passenger train ridership in the United States since the creation of Amtrak, despite the system being beset by incredible delays. On the Washington Post Blog yesterday, Christopher Ingraham put forth a solution for Amtrak’s on time performance: simply cancel the trains that don’t run on time. Employing this logic, we should therefore tear up str

From the RIARP Blog: May Amtrak Report

Today we are featuring a blog post from the Rhode Island Association of Railroad Passengers. This post was originally published July 10, 2014 on the RIARP blog. Steve Musen, NARP Council Member, reviews Amtrak's reports each month, and more of his posts can be found on the RIARP blog. (This piece reflects the opinions of the writer and not necessarily of NARP or RIARP.) Steve Musen, NARP Council Member, wrote: May Amtrak Report These are the things I found interesting in this month's report

Investment: the logic behind Amtrak’s Acela RFP

By William Dunn and Abe Zumwalt Amtrak recently issued an RFP for new Acela train sets, expanding capacity for the service. Those of us with a national perspective might find it easy to criticize the move given the average age of equipment system-wide has climbed to more than 28 years, while the Acelas are only a little more than half that age. However, the move can be justified when considering the amount of revenue at stake. FY2014 is on course to be the best year to date for the Acela. As

Europe Is Committed to Developing its Railways Even Further

This blog post was written by NARP intern Karl Haljasmets, who is European (Estonian) himself. Eurail railway map Quick facts about trains in Europe: · Rail carries about 10% of all freight traffic across Europe, with estimated revenue of €13 billion (about $17,7 billion). · 6% of Europe's passenger journeys are by rail annually. That's 8 billion people who are not adding to city traffic jams or heavily congested roads. · The Rotterdam Genoa freight corridor runs approximately 130,00